Non-traditional, informal and fun – this is how the atmosphere at the OPENS premises during the presentation of the candidate cities for European Youth Capital 2021 can be most easily explained. The citizens of Novi Sad, the youth, youth organisations and organisations for young people had the chance to meet the teams and the representatives of Greater Nicosia (Cyprus), Klaipėda (Lithuania), Varaždin (Croatia) and Chișinău (Moldova). Each country had its own stand with promotional material and local delicatessen.
“Greater Nicosia is unique – it is located between three continents and it is divided. There is the university with more than 60,000 students. The Mediterranean culture at an island unifies everything. The closeness of the Middle East, Europe and Africa provides a huge diversity of cultures. There are many boundaries we cross and that is why the #GetTheEdge is our slogan”, Haralampus Petridis, the Mayor of Greater Nicosia explains.
Greta Tautavićite, “Youth Capital Klaipėda 2021” Project Coordinator, says that this is the second time they are candidates, and they hope that this time they are really ready.
“There is the port in our city which is the largest on this side of the Baltic Sea and our city is the connection with the countries of Northern Europe. We are proud of the Youth Forum which has brought us great improvement of the city, in cooperation with the Scandinavian countries, mostly Norway. What you should see are the cooperation centres where the Lithuanians and Russians are cooperating. This is a special support centre for youth projects”, Greta adds.
Varaždin, a city which is the candidate for the first time this year, has great expectations of the candidacy , but also of what the capital can bring to the young people of that city.
“Our idea was to gather the youth, to build the network of young people with the purpose of including inactive young people of Varaždin. Networking and inclusion through different projects, and generally just being in “the city of ghosts” is a challenge for our people, calculation for those inactive young “ghosts”. Our slogan is #underconstruction and #ghost”, Nino Preložnjak, the coordinator of the Varaždin candidacy for the European Youth Capital explains.
Andrej Harin, the Project Coordinator of the city of Chișinău is of the similar opinion, he states that all cities deserve the title because they all have the same goal – to include young people.
“To include people in the communities, teenagers, even children – to include all young people is what we want to do. We plan to make a circular system, where we would provide people through different institutions, and then they would make something in return to the institutions, and thereby, through certain number of years, we would completely improve the city. Our slogan is simple – #Chisinau42021. What you should visit in our city is National History Museum, open cinema as well as the beautiful Valea Morilor park with the miniature of Arc de Triomphe”, Andrej adds.
During the promotion, a quiz related to the projects of European Youth Forum and current Youth Capital was held. The teams included the hosts, guests as well as the citizens of Novi Sad themselves.
“We are satisfied with the answers and the quiz. It was obvious that the participants know OPENS and that they are informed on our work. The winners received small gifts, and the atmosphere was amazing. The cities have meet each other and connected with each other, and the story is just at the beginning”, Aleksandra llijin, OPENS Program Coordinator says.
After the promotion, the candidates went to Youth Theatre where the ceremony of the announcement of European Youth Capital 2021 was held, and HERE you can find out who won the title.